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Frequently Asked Question About Brakes

Whether you are purchasing or maintaining a vehicle, the quality of your brakes should be at the top of your list of concerns.

How do brakes work?

When you apply the brakes, you are driving a plunger in the master cylinder. This impels brake fluid through a system of hoses. Brake fluid (hydraulic fluid) can't be compressed, so it has enough power to engage a braking unit secured to the wheel.

With a disk brake, the brake fluid comes from the master cylinder to a caliper. The caliper pushes a piston which squeezes two rotors (or disks). The rotors are secured to the wheel.

Drum brakes use a wheel cylinder, brake shoes, and drum to stop the wheel. Brake fluid is forced into the wheel cylinder. The wheel cylinder thrusts the brake shoes away from the drum. This causes the friction linings to press against the drum. The drum is secured to the wheel, therefore, the wheel stops rotating.

Your brake system is pretty fantastic! It can bring a 4,000 pound automobile from 55 mph to a stop in just a few seconds.

There is a long list of components that play a vital role in the braking system. These include:

Fluid condition
Wheel bearings
Grease seals

When you get charged for maintenance on your brakes and wonder where all the charges are coming from, examine all of the parts in the braking system.

How often should you have your brakes looked at?

Unless your car is noticeably shaking when you come to a stop, you should get your brakes maintained once a year.

What are warning signs that your brakes need attention?

Listen for any noise your automobile makes when you come to a stop, especially grinding and screeching noises.

If you feel vibrations from your brake pedal that go up into your steering wheel, it’s time for a brake analysis.

If you feel like you have to apply more pressure than usual when you apply the brakes, it may be time for some new brake pads.

Whatever you do, have them checked right away if your brake warning light glows on your dashboard.

If you have noticed any of these warning signs, or it has just been a while since you had brake maintenance on your auto, call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair to schedule a brake service.